Soaking in all the beauty of these commanding Rays wins, Joe’s enjoying the good guys struggling to find a team that can hang with them.

Who’s better?

Of course, the answer is nobody. And now it’s official, with the Rays taking over the best record in baseball.

In the seventh inning, Joe was fascinated by Matt Joyce swinging at a 3-0 pitch with the game tied at 3, when Twins hurler Matt Guerrier had just thrown seven straight balls. Joyce fouled it off but then walked, leading to Bossman strolling to the plate and crushing a three-run bomb.

Either Maddon had the utmost confidence in Joyce or was showing little confidence in Bossman. Or both.

The defense late was suffocating with Joyce and Sean Rodriguez just refusing to lose. Joe wrote previously about the Rays seizing that championship swagger. And it’s fully there now on defense (minus MFIKY at first base) and top to bottom among the pitching staff.

Maybe the bats really will come alive eventually. Maybe they won’t. Maybe it doesn’t matter with this team? Joe could get used to these Earl Weaver victories, though.

Dan Johnson looked like a lost sheep, which is OK, because eventually he’ll be sent back to home.

Joe’s calling No. 15 for David Price tonight.

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14 Comments

  1. robert says:

    First place? Best record in baseball? This feels right.

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  2. Dew says:

    Come on Joe. Dan Johnson showed a great eye last night (two walks) and check his numbers at Durham on batting against lefties versus righties. He's much better against righties and in time I think you will see his value.

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    • Leighroy says:

      Gotta agree with Drew, Joe. Also showed to be much more capable at first base than Rodriguez, and I'll take a left handed natural player at that position over right handed S-Rod anyday. Almost made that rediculous stretch catch into foul territory too, but I don't think anyone, even Pena could have gotten to that one.

      Also, I don't see the correlation between letting Joyce swing on a 3-0 pitch to having/lacking confidence in BJ Upton. If a guy has thrown 7 balls in a row, and you have a powerful bat like Joyce when the score is tied, you HAVE to give the green light there. You know the pitcher is gunna labor to get a fastball over the plate, and I would give anyone on down the line to say willy Aybar the chance to take the lead on one swing there, regardless of who is at bat next.

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    • Brad says:

      Completely correct. Only someone who knows nothing about baseball would say that a guy who walked 2/4 at bats looked lost. Also, I seriously doubt DJ will be sent down again this season.

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      • JoeRaysFan says:

        Johnson had the bad baserunning blunder, and he was constantly seemed out of position at first base. ...I didn't say he sucked, just that it wasn't his night. Almost get-tos don't fly.

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  3. Brian says:

    Got to give Dan Johnson some time.

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  4. Don says:

    Everybody was crying last night because Joyce's bat was not in the line up...but really it turned out to be a defensive play he made that probably saved the game...
    Bet you a million... Kaplar would not have had the "where with all" to make that play...
    Doesn't Maddon realize he weakens his team by playing guys like Kaplar...pay him, say goodbye to ole Joe, its been great, keep someone like DJ that CAN help!

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  5. Dew says:

    Here are Dan's splits at Durham.

    vs Left .229
    vs Right .332

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    • Don says:

      They are talking about starting Zo at first tonight....No DJ?
      aga. a RHP....how does that help Maddon and the team see what DJ can do????

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  6. Dew says:

    Madden said last night DJ would be playing first base for now so I don't think he will put Zo there tonight. Zo will probably DH.

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  7. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Man it would really be something to see B.J. "Chesapeak" Upton heat up down the stretch! Great hit last night Bossman!

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